We traveled through some amazing places in rural King County this week. First, we went out to Index, and saw the most amazing scenery I think I have ever witnessed. It was breathtaking, from clear rivers to towering granite mountains. It was like seven folk songs about America all rolled into one 360 degree view. I can't describe it well enough. Here is a picture.
Then, as part of the King County Farm Tour, Jaime and I took the kids to several farms in south King County. (Which, apparently, is the 14th biggest county in the US. Weird.) We had a great time, and saw some more of the most lovely farmland I have ever imagined. The Little Farm at Windwater is like some postcard that sprung to life. Even the animals were picture perfect. We had a picnic lunch there, with perfect roosters running around us, that was maybe the highlight of the day.
I've been traveling through the rural parts of the county for the past month, and every drive I discover something else amazing. It's partly the gorgeous views, with the Cascades always looming over you, and the giant trees hanging over the rivers. But it's something else too. There is an intensity about the land out here that really grabs you. I was really put off by the intensity at first. It's so alien and harsh. But discovering places during my rural drives brings that calmer, more Appalachian feel that I miss. In many ways, Enumclaw or Auburn could be plucked up and dropped in the Ohio valley and no one would notice on either side. (In positive and negative ways; people are meaner looking, there is more smoking and drinking.) I like that. I'll take the minuses, because the pluses are so important to me. Especially when I realize I am still a short drive into the city, with donuts and teahouses and dance clubs with hot latin music and loose women.
(Okay I'm joking about the clubs and women. But it is nice to have options.)
I'm having a good time find these places and exploring the countryside around me. I had no idea, after over six years here, that what I was missing and what I found I needed were so close.